Merchant Solutions, the acquiring joint venture between global electronic payments processor First Data and Standard Chartered Bank, has signed an agreement to initiate merchant acquiring for JCB, a major global payment brand originated in Japan.
The agreement spans eight markets in Asia and will enable JCB card members to use their cards at thousands of purchase points in Hong Kong, Macau, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Merchant Solutions already enables merchants to accept Visa, MasterCard and China UnionPay branded cards in many of these markets today, and they will now be able to capture more business as JCB cardholders travel across Asia.
According to the Japan National Tourist Organisation (JNTO), in 2007 overseas visitors to other parts of Asia exceeded 13 million. More than half of that number traveled to countries covered by the new arrangement between Merchant Solutions and JCB International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., a brand holder of JCB, and a major issuer and acquirer in Japan. According to the JNTO, 1.3 million Japanese visitors traveled to Hong Kong during 2008, and according to the Hong Kong Tourism board, they spent 3.5 billion Hong Kong dollars.
"Merchant Solutions is very pleased to expand its acquiring network to include JCB cards," said Sean Hesh, CEO and managing director of Merchant Solutions. "JCB is a major global payment brand with a solid card member base in Asia. This arrangement delivers improved merchant coverage for JCB card members and increases payment options for our merchants, helping to drive their sales volumes."
"Our arrangement with Merchant Solutions is very exciting and will enhance JCB's acceptance network further across Asia," said Kubo Masayuki, managing director, JCB International (Asia) Ltd. "With Merchant Solutions, our card members travelling across these Asian markets will be able to enjoy greater convenience than ever before."